Heron release after rehabilitation

2022 HDR Foundation Grants

U.S. Small Grant Cycle 1

American Water Works Association | Orlando, FL

This US$18,000 grant will fund two aerial and two bathymetric drones to complete the curriculum of an American Water Works Association pilot program designed to strengthen the digital technology skills of high school students. A coveted program for many high schools, AWWA chose two schools with highly diverse student enrollment to participate in the program. After completing the program, students will be prepared to test for their drone pilot licenses and have employable skills for water utilities in need of talent.

Employee sponsor: Kevin Bergschneider | Denver, CO

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana | New Orleans, LA

CRCL is Louisiana’s oldest, statewide non-profit organization dedicated to coastal restoration. This US$6,169 grant will support the construction of new air prune beds at the Pontchartrain Conservancy nursery, enabling CRCL to grow saplings locally rather than purchase trees from an outside source. The air pruning beds produce healthier root balls, which increase the saplings’ transplant success — vital to a state that has lost more than 1 million acres of wetlands and barrier shoreline since 1900. With the new pruning beds, CRCL will grow 8,500 trees for 40 acres of wetland planting, impacting up to 43,000 Louisianans living along the coast.

Employee sponsor: Erin Rooney | New Orleans, LA

Explore Austin | Austin, TX

Building upon a seven-year partnership with our Austin office employees, this US$15,650 grant will fund the purchase of backpacks, hiking boots, climbing ropes, helmets, and climbing shoes for 300 low-income, predominantly Black and Latino youth who participate in the Explore Austin outdoor adventure program. Explore Austin matches sixth graders with mentors who stay with the explorers through high school, helping them to reach their full potential through challenging outdoor activities. The HDR Foundation has awarded four grants to Explore Austin, matching our employee mentors with local students and helping the organization make a difference in the lives of numerous youth annually.

Employee sponsor: Will Wehner | Austin, TX

G Road | Scottsdale, AZ

G Road supports young people on their road to adulthood through creative programming, including a hands-on gardening and sustainability program that teaches kids about healthy habits. This US $19,880 grant will be used to purchase a shipping container and shade structure for an outdoor instruction and food prep area within a community garden adjacent to downtown Phoenix. The space will be used to expand an after-school program with about 70 youth participants and their family members.  

Employee sponsor: Becky Santiago | Phoenix, AZ

Heartland Family Service | Omaha, NE

This US$11,319 grant to Heartland Family Services will go toward the purchase and installation of artificial grass in a sensory atrium designed to calm young people experiencing a behavioural health crisis. This safe space includes sensory tiles, picnic tables, weighted blankets, and other items for students that experience significant emotional dysregulation. Since 1875, Heartland Family Services has strengthened individuals, families, and communities in Nebraska and Iowa, including support of therapeutic school programs designed for students experiencing behavioural, emotional and/or mental health challenges.

Employee sponsor: Leanne Ziettlow | Omaha, NE

Metropolitan Community College Foundation | Omaha, NE

This US$11,260 grant to Metropolitan Community College Foundation will fund the installation of solar panels at the Yates Illuminates community centre freight farm, a vertical hydroponic growing system designed inside a shipping container to allow year-round growing. The freight farm will enable MCC to add sustainable education programs on urban farming, alternative growing, food insecurity, and renewable energy, in addition to helping refugee and immigrant populations learn about the process and grow their own produce. The project will also support the addition of youth summer camps focuses on sustainable initiatives.

Employee sponsor: Will Kirby | Omaha, NE

Ohio Wildlife Center | Powell, OH

The Ohio Wildlife Center is dedicated to fostering awareness of Ohio’s native wildlife through rehabilitation, education and wildlife health studies. This US$19,849 grant will restore a pond within the wildlife centre in Powell, Ohio, adding aeration systems that will allow native vegetation and fish species to thrive. The project will allow the education pond to continue to serve both people and wildlife as a seasonal respite for migrating waterfowl and a release site for recovering herons, ducks and geese.

Employee Sponsor: Eric Plapper | Columbus, OH

Plant It Forward | Houston, TX

As Houston’s largest network of urban farms, Plant It Forward empowers refugees to develop sustainable farming businesses that produce fresh, healthy food. This US$20,000 grant will upgrade the organization’s cold storage facility with two new walk-in storage chambers that will increase storage capacity by 200%. The project will provide the farmer network with the facilities needed to scale the distribution of locally grown produce to more low-income households in the community.

Employee Sponsor: Traci Donatto | Houston, TX

Venture Outdoors | Pittsburgh, PA

Venture Outdoors has been removing the barriers that prevent people from connecting to the outdoors since 2001. This US$5,845 grant will fund mountain bikes, helmets and repair kits to grow the organization’s new women and nonbinary mountain biking program. By providing affordable and accessible recreation and education opportunities, the organization has reached hundreds of thousands of people through cycling, hiking, skiing, kayaking and other outdoor experiences.

Employee Sponsor: David Conti | Pittsburgh, PA

Food Bank Grants

Feeding America and Local Food Banks | Worldwide

Following our annual employee Day of Giving, the HDR Foundation, HDR Canada Fund and HDR Australia Fund awarded more than US$164,000 in grants to food banks in the communities of employees. Sixty-seven local food banks received grants in recognition of employees in HDR offices who met a special challenge related to our annual fundraising efforts.